The Combined Federal Campaign — The Rule of 7 is now The Rule of 21

Sections of this topic

    In marketing and media awareness terms, the “Rule of 7” states that before a customer or donor actually makes a purchase or a gift, they need to be “touched” in some way before they will act.

    “Touched,” means contact by: a piece of mail, an email, a radio discussion, an advertisement (print or electronic), a conversation, and any other conceivable method of communication.

    Since the numbers of communications are increasing, marketers are now saying that you must include opportunities in your plans to reach people 21 times … before they will do what you want them to do, because they (mentally) tend to screen out two of every three of your efforts.

    So what does this mean in terms of the CFC solicitation period that we are in now?

    It means that you need to expand your efforts to generate CFC awareness. If you’ve been following my CFC posts you know how strongly I emphasize the need to use all 12 months to generate awareness of your participation in the CFC.

    That’s what you should have been doing; but, if you haven’t, generations of college students have proven that cramming is better than doing nothing at all.

    So, what follows are some techniques that can help you expand your visibility and, thereby, increase your contributions in the latter part of the CFC campaign.

    CFC Donors: You thanked those donors … who released their names and contact information to you in the last CFC. So, for those you can contact, contact them again. Thank them again for their continued support, and share with them how their payroll deduction gifts really make a difference to the people that you serve.

    General E-mail list: Use your in-house email list to communicate with all those folks about all of your year-end giving opportunities … including the CFC, and any other workplace giving campaigns in which your non-profit participates. That way, your donors get to choose what method(s) they want to use to support your organization.

    Media Releases: NPOs that have opportunities to get media coverage during the holiday season should make sure to include mention that you’re in the CFC … and include your CFC ID number.

    Signage: If your nonprofit has street exposure, put a sign in your window with the CFC logo and your 5 digit ID.

    Vehicles: If you have vehicles with your nonprofit’s name on them, get magnetic signs printed that have just the CFC logo and your CFC 5-digit code. CFC donors who see your vehicles will easily recognize what that logo and number represent.

    In All Of Your Communications make it clear that your organization is in the CFC, what your 5 digit code is, and that you very much appreciate the support of all of your Federal donors and volunteers.

    Face Time Counts: This is the oldest adage in leadership and sales, because it’s the most important. Have you trained your staff that, when talking with their friends, they should ask them if they have any “Federal connections” … people to whom they are close and who are in the Federal government – spouses, siblings, parents, neighbors, friends, etc. As Stephen Covey outlined in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” you achieve higher levels of success by focusing your efforts on your “Circle of Influence” … start where you already connections.

    Relationships Are Key. That simple three-word sentence is the mantra of all fundraising. It takes a great deal of effort, thought, capability, energy, resources, and committed people to actually develop a sustainable, growing, and effective development program, but that mantra is the key, the basis of all successful development efforts … including workplace giving and the Combined Federal Campaign.

    Don’t think of all of those awareness-generating techniques as just one-shot deals, and certainly don’t think of the CFC as an ATM machine.

    If you take the time and do the work to develop relationships with your CFC donors, they will support you for many years. Don’t, and they won’t !!

    Next month’s post: Update on the proposed CFC regulations and the Congressional Hearing.

    We’re taking a short break … for some turkey.
    See you next Tuesday.

    During his 25-year career in the Federal sector, Bill Huddleston, The CFC Coach,
    served in many CFC roles. If you want to participate in the Combined Federal
    Campaign, maximize your nonprofit’s CFC revenues, or just ask a few questions,
    contact Bill Huddleston
    Have you seen
    The Fundraising Series of ebooks.

    They’re easy to read, to the point, and cheap ($1.99 – $4.99) ☺

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